Tag Archives: Allegory Gallery

Sunday Salon/Currently …Halloween Eve Edition

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Friends, I’ve reached my limit with this election. Friday’s news put me over the edge — again — and I simply can’t take another week of this insanity. To make matters worse, I live in a state with a hotly contested Senate race AND I have a hateful, bigoted, racist asshole incumbent for way too many years as my State Representative. The latter has billboard-sized signs on roads I need to travel (plus on my neighbors’ lawns along with Trump/Pence signs).  I’m so done. I put myself on another election news blackout this weekend and it probably won’t be the last.

(Unfortunately, the election is one of The Boy’s favorite topics of discussion.  I mean, I love that the kid is engaged in his political future and is educating himself about the candidates and the issues, but he likes to talk about it A LOT. That’s another reason why I need to step back from the news coverage; I don’t have the energy to explain things to him if I’m already weary of the daily barrage of crap.)

Currently … Reading


Born to Run is proving to be a good election diversion. I’m a Bruce fan and have been looking forward to this memoir. It does not disappoint. It’s written much in the casual, poetic style of Bruce’s songs (“The bride and her hero are whisked away in their long black limousine, the one that drops you off at the beginning of your life.”) and nobody writes about place the way Bruce does.

“When it rains, the moisture in the humid air blankets our town with the smell of damp coffee grounds wafting in from the Nescafé factory at the town’s eastern edge. I don’t like coffee but I like that smell. It’s comforting; it unites the town in a common sensory experience; it’s good industry, like the roaring rug mill that fills our ears, brings work and signals our town’s vitality. There is a place here—you can hear it, smell it—where people make lives, suffer pain, enjoy small pleasures, play baseball, die, make love, have kids, drink themselves drunk on spring nights and do their best to hold off the demons that seek to destroy us, our homes, our families, our town.”

All this makes Born to Run a relatively fast read, which is good because it’s due back to the library on Wednesday.  love-warrior

This week I finished Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton, another memoir that I loved and which will be on my Best of 2016 list in a few short weeks. Such a honest and heartfelt memoir. You can feel Glennon’s pain and strength on every page. I’m recommending it to everyone.

Currently … Cooking:
I’m getting more strict about only making one meal. The kids will be 15 in a few weeks and are more than perfectly capable of preparing something else if they’re not pleased with the fare offered. I’ve resigned myself to being unable to accommodate everyone.  It’s one thing to make small changes for dietary preferences but it’s another thing to make a separate meal altogether and I’m just not doing it anymore. If that means people are eating cereal or sandwiches every night for dinner, that’s fine with me.

Currently … Watching:
At the moment, The Husband is switching between the Eagles-Dallas game and the World Series. Also, everyone’s talking about “This Is Us” and so far I’ve been resisting.  I’m thinking I’m going to cave soon and see what all the fuss is about.

Currently … Linking:
My friends Andrew and William have a great opportunity to make a significant investment in their current business, Allegory Gallery, which is a bead, art and jewelry store in Ligonier, PA. It’s a wonderful space where they nurture creativity and artists, and I have a special fondness for them and Allegory Gallery from when they generously hosted a reading I did. They’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign for this endeavor and I encourage you to check out Project: Next Step if you’re inclined to support their efforts.

More Links I Liked This Week …
Bookertalk shares a personal remembrance of the Aberfan disaster in South Wales, a tragedy which I’d never heard of until reading her post.

For the remaining days of this godforsaken election, Nancy of Mixtape Midlife is encouraging women to acknowledge and celebrate each other — to give a nod to the nasty, if you will.

Nine more days.

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Words in Process


We are back from a few days by the ocean and the bay, a few days during which I walked these paths and gazed at these skies I love. As is often the case with the weather at the Jersey shore, the skies were sometimes stormy and sometimes breathtaking within the same few minutes. One never knows what to expect from one second to another and these few days by the ocean were that way.

Writing is like that too, isn’t it? Sometimes, our words surprise us. Our characters find themselves on  roads they (and we) never knew existed.

Despite my best intentions, I only pulled out my novel and notes once during this vacation in preparation for my talk tomorrow evening as part of the Words in Process writers series. I did do a lot of thinking and internal prep work for my remarks.


I hope you will join us tomorrow evening, June 18, beginning at 7 p.m., when I will read from my novel in progress. I will also discuss the world of book blogging and how writers can promoting their work through their blogs. (Keith Campbell’s legendary red velvet cupcakes with chocolate liqueur are rumored to be served.)

Allegory Gallery is located at 139 East Main Street in Ligonier, PA. Hope to see you there! 



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in which i will be reading my words in process, in ligonier, in june

So, I’ve been sitting on some exciting news for the last couple days.

It has been like that lately with us book bloggers, hasn’t it? Seems like a bunch of us have new projects and all sorts of new wonderfulness to announce. It has been head-spinning, in a good way.

I have been turning my attention more to this writing life of mine, trying to see what possibilities might be out there professionally and personally.  For reasons that I have been struggling to understand, the profession I know and the work that I’ve been doing for 22 years is not working here for me, in this new place. As I said to The Husband the other night, I really thought more things would have fallen into place by now, nearly two years into this.

But some new things are happening.

One of them has led to my being invited to read my work during this upcoming season of Words in Process.

(I know. Me. A reading. I would have been less surprised if the Vatican had called to say I’d been named the next pope.)

Words in Process is a group of local (western Pennsylvania) poets, writers, and literary enthusiasts who present their work and their thoughts on writing at a monthly Reading Series in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Afterwords, an open mic is held for audience members to share their work. It’s all coordinated by the wonderful Amy Yanity, who I only know from Facebook and only through another writer friend.

My reading is scheduled for June 18 at 7 p.m. at Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pa. I’ve also been asked to speak about blogging and this book blogging world of ours. The talk is open to the public and free of charge. And no, I have no idea what I’ll be reading … although there’s a good bet there will be some of the novel in progress and maybe a blog post or two. We’ll see.

To say that I am thrilled and honored and incredibly excited about this is an understatement. If you’re nearby and able to make it, I’d love to have you in the audience.

Photo is of one of my very first stories, written when I was about 6 or 7. Photo taken in December 2012. 

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